Business & Finance: Muddy Waters

On the Los Angeles Stock Exchange one day last week, shares of Signal Oil & Gas Co. dropped a whopping 15 points, and Hancock Oil Co. of California fell eight points. The companies are two of the biggest drillers in California's underwater "tidelands" oil areas. The fall in the prices of their securities was the most noticeable result of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that this "marginal sea," from low tide to the three-mile limit, and all of its wealth, belonged to the Federal Government, not the State of California.

Since the early '30's, California has been drawing...

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